Pregnancy Week 10
Although only between 31 and 42 mm, at pregnancy week 10 the fetus is able to be weighed. By the end of this week, the fetus will move from the embryonic period into the fetal period where it will begin to grow at an amazingly hasty rate. It is good to know that after week 10 the fetus is not likely to develop congenital malformations. This does not, however, mean that the child cannot be affected by second hand smoke, toxins, and alcohol. At this stage in the pregnancy, organs such as the brain, liver, kidneys, and intestines start to function, while other organs continue to form. Also, toenails, spinal nerves and fine baby hair can be seen on the fetus at this point. At week 10 of pregnancy, ingesting amniotic fluid gives the baby some practice in taking in breaths when it is born and kicking allows it to put to use itís newly formed muscles. Although the belly is not as obvious during week 10 as it soon will be, close relatives are likely to notice the rounder form. Although morning sickness might still be an issue, after week 10 these symptoms will decrease dramatically. Also at this point, doctors can have the mother hear the heartbeat of the fetus. Although doctor visits at this point are simple checkups, it is important to enjoy these new experiences with someone close. These tasks form a special bond with the baby even before it is born!
At week 10, it is important to consider some genetic testing. Tests such as chorionic villus sampling for women over 35 and the triple screen test can help detect disorders such as Downs syndrome, neural tube defects, babies in danger of low birth weight and premature delivery, or ventral wall abnormalities. Sometimes these screening tests yield false positive results and it is important to keep in mind that science is not always fully correct. Often, genetic testing can be invasive and dangerous for mother and child so it is not always a good idea. Depending on the risk level of the pregnancy, different methods may be used.
Pregnancy Week 9 | Pregnancy Week 11